OnVideo: MARCH's Top Movies
THE COLLECTIONWhen Elena's (Emma Fitzpatrick) friends take her to a secret party at an undisclosed location, she never imagined she would become the latest victim of The Collector, a psychopathic killer. The Collector kidnaps and transports her to an abandoned hotel he's transformed into his own private maze of torture and death. Upon learning of his daughter's disappearance, Elena's wealthy father (Christopher McDonald) hires a group of mercenaries to retrieve her; the mercenaries coerce Arkin (Josh Stewart), the only man to have escaped the wrath of the Collector, to lead them through the gruesome labyrinth. Now, Arkin finds himself fighting for his own life in order to save Elena.
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: WORLDS AWAYWritten and directed by Andrew Adamson ("Shrek," "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe"), and executive produced by James Cameron, the 3D film features artistic and acrobatic performances from some of the most elaborate Cirque du Soleil productions. Takes audiences on a wondrous journey across the imaginative landscapes of Cirque du Soleil, capturing the feats of the extraordinary artists up close using cameras that sometimes soar 70 feet in the air. The story line: A young woman is entranced by an Aerialist but when they fall into the dreamlike world of Cirque du Soleil and are separated, they travel through the different tent worlds trying to find each other.
Director: Andrew Adamson. Stars: Erica Lin, Igor Zaripov, Lutz Halbhubner, John Clarke, Dallas Barnett. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 91 min., Fantasy, Box office gross: $12.495 million, Paramount. Available: 3/12.
HITCHCOCKProvocative story about the making of one of cinema's most iconic films. Plagued by both a reckless ego and nagging self-doubt, Hollywood legend Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) becomes obsessed with a grisly murder story that the studios won't back. Determined, he risks his reputation, his home and even the love of his wife Alma (Helen Mirren), as he sets out to make the film. Ultimately, Hitch wins Alma over, and the two collaborate to create an enduring masterpiece -- "Psycho." In the end, it's a love story between Hitchcock and Alma.
Director: Sacha Gervasi. Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette, Jessica Biel, Danny Huston, Kurtwood Smith, Ralph Macchio, James D'Arcy, Michael Stuhlbarg. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 98 min., Drama, Box office gross: $3.071 million, Fox. Available: 3/12.
THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEYJ.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" comes to life in the first of Peter Jackson's trilogy. The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome Dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the Wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of 13 Dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild, through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins, Orcs and deadly Wargs, as well as a mysterious and sinister figure known only as the Necromancer. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the Goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever ... Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of ingenuity and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum's "precious" ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities ... a simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.
Director: Peter Jackson. Stars: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Lee Pace, Ian Holm, Luke Evans, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Elijah Wood, Hugo Weaving, Evangeline Lilly, Christopher Lee, Benedict Cumberbatch. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 169 min., Fantasy Adventure, Box office gross: $296.193 million, New Line/MGM/Warner. Available: 3/19.
THE INTOUCHABLESAn irreverent, uplifting comedy about friendship, trust and human possibility. Based on a true story of a wealthy, physically disabled risk taker, the picture of established French nobility, who lost his wife in an accident and whose world is turned upside down when he hires a young, good-humored, street-smart black Muslim ex-con as his caretaker. Their bond proves the power and omniscience that love and friendship can hold over all social and economic differences.
Director: Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano. Stars: Omar Sy, Francois Cluzet, Anne Le Ny, Audrey Fleurot, Clotilde Mollet. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 112 min., Drama, Box office gross: $12.937 million, The Weinstein Co./Sony Available: 3/05.
KILLING THEM SOFTLYThree dumb guys who think they're smart rob a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse. Brad Pitt plays Jackie Cogan, the enforcer hired to track them down and restore order to the criminal infrastructure. Adapted from George V. Higgins' novel and set in New Orleans.
Director: Andrew Dominik. Stars: Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, Vincent Curatola, Max Casella, Trevor Long, Slaine, Sam Shepard. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 97 min., Crime Drama, Box office gross: $14.938 million, The Weinstein Company/Anchor Bay. Available: 3/26.
LES MISERABLESThe long-anticipated big-screen adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe -- and still breaking boxoffice records everywhere in its 27th year. Set against the backdrop of post-Revolution France, the film retells Victor Hugo's politically charged social and moral critique of law and morality in the 19th century. It's an enthralling story of broken dreams, unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption and a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Ex-prisoner Jean Valjean -- after serving 19 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread for his starving sister -- is hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole -- despite the fact that he becomes a model citizen and businessman. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever. Raising her as his own daughter, and still hunted by Javert, Valjean moves to Paris, where he gets involved in the unsuccessful Paris Uprising of 1832, saving the life of a man who will become Cosette's husband. In a spectacular denouement, both Javert and Valjean come to terms with their pasts. The film is a monumental undertaking, with elaborate on-location sets, live-singing (no lip-syncing here), and spot-on acting by all concerned. A visual and aural treat guaranteed to stir your soul and move you to tears.
Director: Tom Hooper. Stars: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 158 min., Musical, Box office gross: $141.504 million, Universal. Available: 3/22.
LIFE OF PIA 16 year-old Indian boy's passage to a new life in America aboard a freighter ends in a shipwreck in the Pacific; he's left to fend for himself on a life raft where he forms an amazing and unexpected connection with the ship's only other survivor ... a fearsome Bengal tiger.
Director: Ang Lee. Stars: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Gerard Depardieu, Tabu, Adil Hussain, Ayush Tandon. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 127 min., Adventure, Box office gross: $103.427 million, Fox. Available: 3/12.
THE OTHER SONTwo young men from opposite sides of a bitter social and religious divide discover that they are really not who they were brought up to be. As he is preparing to join the Israeli army for his national service, Tel Aviv resident Joseph (Jules Sitruk)discovers he is not his parents' biological son, and that he was inadvertently switched at birth with Yacine (Mehdi Dehbi), the son of a Palestinian family from the West Bank. At the time of the boys' birth during the first Gulf War, a missile attack forced the hospital's evacuation, and in the confusion, the boys were sent home with the wrong parents. Now, 18 years later, this revelation turns the lives of two families upside down, forcing them to reassess their identities, their values and their beliefs. In French with English subtitles.
Director: Lorraine Levy. Stars: Emmanuelle Devos, Pascal Elbe, Mehdi Dehbi, Jules Sitruk, Areen Omari, Khalifa Natour. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 105 min., Drama, Box office gross: $1.1 million, Cohen Media Group. Available: 3/19.
PARENTAL GUIDANCEOld-school grandparents Artie (Billy Crystal) and Diane (Bette Midler) get more than they bargained for when they get stuck babysitting their type-A daughter's (Marisa Tomei) overprotected kids. But things go from hectic to hysterical when Artie realizes the kids are running the house with their newfangled technology. By playing by his own rules, which include sugary snacks, old fashioned games and tough love, Artie manages to outsmart the kids and achieve the impossible -- bring the family closer together.
Director: Andy Fickman. Stars: Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott, Bailee Madison, Joshua Rush, Kyle Harrison Breitkopf, Jennifer Crystal Foley. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 105 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $14.8 million, Fox. Available: 3/26.
PLAYING FOR KEEPSRomantic comedy about a charming, down-on-his luck former soccer star (Gerard Butler) who returns home to put his life back together. Looking for a way to rebuild his relationship with his son, he gets roped into coaching the boy's soccer team. But his attempts to finally become an "adult" are met with hilarious challenges from the attractive "soccer moms" who pursue him at every turn.
Director: Gabriele Muccino. Stars: Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Dennis Quaid. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 106 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $13.027 million, Sony. Available: 3/05.
RED DAWNThe unsuspecting citizens of Spokane, Washington, wake up one morning to the shocking sight of foreign paratroopers -- North Koreans -- dropping from the sky in a surprise attack ... the U.S. has been invaded and their hometown is the initial target. Quickly and without warning, the citizens find themselves prisoners and their town -- and the entire region -- comes under enemy control. Determined to fight back, a group of young patriots seek refuge in the surrounding woods, training and reorganizing themselves into a guerilla group of fighters. Taking inspiration from their high school mascot, they call themselves the Wolverines, banding together to protect one another, liberate their town from its captors, and take back their freedom. Remake of the 1984 John Milius-directed cult-classic.
Director: Dan Bradley. Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Edwin Hodge, Connor Cruise, Jeffrey Dean Morgan. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 93 min., Action, Box office gross: $44.667 million, Fox. Available: 3/05.
RISE OF THE GUARDIANS"The Guardians" is based on William Joyce's children's books, "The Guardians of Childhood," a multi-story saga detailing the adventures of the immortal Guardians, who are sworn to protect children from the forces of evil. When an evil spirit called Pitch becomes bent upon taking over the world by inspiring fear in the hearts of kids everywhere, a group of the greatest heroes -- Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and Jack Frost -- band together for the first time, determined to stand in Pitch's way. More than a collection of storybook subjects, the Guardians are also a band of superheroes, who possess their own special powers. Now joined in opposition of a common foe, the Guardians heed the call and combine their powers to defeat Pitch and protect the world from his campaign of fear.
Director: Peter Ramsey. Stars: Voices of Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, Jude Law, Dakota Goyo, Dominique Grund. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 97 min., Animated, Box office gross: $98.750 million, DreamWorks/Paramount. Available: 3/12.
RUST AND BONEA wonderful drama of love and redemption. Homeless, penniless and friendless, Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts), given charge of his estranged five-year-old son, takes refuge with his sister in Antibes, in the south of France. Ali, a man of formidable size, strength -- and anger -- gets a job as a bouncer in a nightclub. One night he comes to the aid of Stephanie (Marion Cotillard) during a nightclub brawl. Stephanie trains orca whales at Marineland and though they travel in different social circles, he takes her home and slips her his number. When a performance at Marineland ends in tragedy, Stephanie loses her legs and, in desperation, she reaches out to Ali for help. Ali's direct, unpitying physicality becomes Stephanie's lifeline, but Ali also is transformed by Stephanie's tough resilience. As their stories intersect and diverge, the two navigate a world where strength, beauty, youth and blood are commodities -- but where trust, truth, loyalty and love cannot be bought and sold, and courage comes in many forms.
Director: Jacques Audiard. Stars: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Armand Verdure, Corinne Masiero, Bouli Lanners, Celine Sallette. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 120 min., Drama, Box office gross: $1.873 million, Sony. Available: 3/19
THIS IS 40Sort-of sequel to the blockbuster hit "Knocked Up." After years of marriage, Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) are approaching a milestone meltdown. As they try to balance romance, careers, parents and children in their own hilarious ways, they must also figure out how to enjoy the rest of their lives. A comedy about the challenges and rewards of marriage and parenthood in the modern age.
Director: Judd Apatow. Stars: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Melissa McCarthy, Jason Segal, Megan Fox, John Lithgow, Albert Brooks, Iris Apatow, Maude Apatow, Robert Smigel, Chris O'Dowd, Annie Mumolo, Robert Smigel, Charlyne Yi, Lena Dunham. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 134 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $66.323 million, Universal. Available: 3/22.
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN -- PART 2The conclusion to the multi-billion dollar book, movie and merchandise franchise. Brought back from near-death by Edward after childbirth, Bella begins her new life as a vampire and mother to their daughter, Renesmee. When the Volturi are led to believe that Renesmee was not born as a vampire but, rather, turned into one in violation of their code, the Volturi set out to destroy the child and the Cullen clan. The Cullens band together with vampires from around the world to stand united against the Volturi.
Director: Bill Condon. Stars: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Dakota Fanning, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Anna Kendrick, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Peter Facinelli, Billy Burke, Elizabeth Reaser. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 115 min., Action Romance, Box office gross: $289.133 million, Lionsgate. Available: 3/02.
WRECK-IT RALPHFor decades, Wreck-It Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) has played the bad guy in his popular video game and he longs to be as beloved as the game's perfect Good Guy, Fix-It Felix (voice of Jack McBrayer). Problem is, nobody loves a Bad Guy. But they do love heroes… so when a modern, first-person shooter game arrives featuring tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch), Ralph sees it as his ticket to heroism and happiness. He sneaks into the game with a simple plan -- win a medal -- but soon wrecks everything, and accidently unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens every game in the arcade. Ralph's only hope? Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman), a young troublemaking "glitch" from a candy-coated cart racing game who might just be the one to teach Ralph what it means to be a Good Guy. But will he realize he is good enough to become a hero before it's "Game Over" for the entire arcade?
Director: Rich Moore. Stars: Voices of John C. Reilly, Jane Lynch, Jack McBrayer, Sarah Silverman, Ed O'Neill, Alan Tudyk, Rachael Harris, Stefanie Scott, Mindy Kaling, Dennis Haysbert, Adam Carolla, Edie McClurg. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 108 min., Animated, Box office gross: $171.926 million, Disney. Available: 3/05.
ZERO DARK THIRTYA chronicle of the decade-long hunt -- by an elite team of intelligence and military operatives -- for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy SEAL Team 6 in May, 2011.
Director: Kathryn Bigelow. Stars: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Kyle Chandler, Mark Strong, Jennifer Ehle, Jason Clarke, Edgar Ramirez, Chris Pratt, Scott Adkins, Nash Edgerton, Harold Perrineau, Taylor Kinney. 2012, CC, MPAA rating: R, 157 min., Drama, Box office gross: $83.567 million, Sony. Available: 3/19.
All DVDs and Blu-rays are screened on a reference system consisting of an Oppo BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray Player, a Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center), and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.
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March 1, 2013